Meet Rajeshwari aka Raji, age who has been selling vegetables for 30 years now. She has made a thriving family business out of it. Sometimes, one woman’s enterprise brings the entire family to progress and some level of prosperity.
43-year-old Raji hails from a village near Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. She moved to Bangalore at a young age, after her marriage. She and her husband got into the vegetable vending business. They used to push a wheeled cart of vegetables through the streets of the city.
Around 1995, a new apartment building, called Casa Ansal, came up on a plot of land on Bannerghatta Road. She stationed herself outside the back gate of the complex, in the Mini Forest area, and was soon selling vegetables to the many apartment residents, as well as the house-owners nearby.
Raji was one of the first ones get a mobile phone. Working professionals were able to easily call in and place the order.
Raji always managed to get good quality vegetables and people don’t mind paying a premium for it. In fact, she says, those who moved out of Casa Ansal still come back to buy from her.
Raji was one of the first ones get a mobile phone. Working professionals were able to call in and place the order for the fruits and vegetables.
She also provides other services to the residents of Casa Ansal. She often recommends maids to the flat residents, and when some of the residents are ill, she does not mind going to their place and making them fruit juice or helping out with the housework.
Raji has fought several battles in her life; it has not been an easy path. "Thrice, the police have harassed me," she says, but former CM H D Kumaraswamy, whose house is nearby, has helped her by telling the police that such vendors also need to make a living, and allowing her to continue.
Raji is helped by her husband, and her brother. Her daughter Sivakami was visiting with her sons, Sai Ram and Sai Krishna, when I went to talk to her. A beaming little Sai Krishna told me, "I am studying in Nalanda School, and I want to become a scientist." Raji gave him an indulgent smile.